We were staying elsewhere in Thorpeness for the weekend and chose to eat at The Dolphin on Saturday evening. The Inn is a very pleasant and comfortable venue similar in many ways to several others along the coast here that cater to the corduroy and Boden clad professional middle class weekenders who flock to Aldeburgh, Thorpeness, Walberswick and Southwold throughout the year. We had popped in earlier in the evening to book and were offered either a 6:30pm or 9pm sitting. We elected for 9pm and turned up a little earlier, we were shown to our reserved table in the window and ordered. I had chicken Liver Pate to start and my partner the smoked Salmon. The Chicken Liver Pate was presented really nicely in spring top jar toasted bread and chutney on the side, unfortunately the chicken liver pate was very mild in taste to the point of blandness and also very cold as if straight from the fridge, so a little disappointing. My Partner’s smoked salmon had a good taste but a rather slimy texture which spoilt it a little for her and she was surprised that the salmon was not accompanied by any bread.
We both ordered fish and chips as a main course which was presented nicely, the chips in a little bowl and the cod an un-battered grilled piece of fillet sitting on a mixture of peas and capers. There were signs of lack of attention to detail in the cooking of the cod, the tail end of my piece having folded under during the cooking process leaving part of the fish uncooked. The fish was also incredibly salty, I wasn’t sure if this was accounted for by the char gilled surface of the cod which could have been painted in Anchovy butter prior to grilling or by the chef being a little heavy handed in the seasoning, not inedible but enough for both of us to comment and to mar our enjoyment of the fish.
In summary then a perfectly decent place to eat, comfortable bar and dining area, good friendly bar and waiting staff, food looked good and presented well, certainly above the average but let down by the taste and lack of attention to detail so only four rather than five out of five on this occasion but will try again next time I find myself in this part of the world
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated in the unique seaside village of Thorpeness, the Dolphin Inn, a free house, has placed itself in the heart of the community. A short stroll takes you to miles of unspoilt Suffolk heritage coastline and we are a short distance from Minsmeare, a birding paradise hosting some of our rarest wildlife. The Dolphin has three well appointed four star bedrooms, a fantastic restaurant with an enthusiastic chef, a bar that dispensers a large variety of whiskeys, ales, has a superb wine list and boasts a large beer garden. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Dolphin Hotel Thorpeness